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The 3 Worlds of Gulliver

 

The 3 Worlds of Gulliver (Soundtrack) by Bernard Herrmann

The 3 Worlds of Gulliver
10/10

Buy The 3 Worlds of Gulliver (Soundtrack) by Bernard Herrmann from Amazon.com

 

Category

Score

Originality 9
Music Selection 10
Composition 10
CD Length 9
Track Order 10
Performance 10
Final Score 10/10

 

 

Real Audio Clips

 

Track 1 - Overture

Track 33 - The Girls

Track 36 - Happiness

 

 

 

 Purchasing Options

 

 


Composer 
Bernard Herrmann

 

Quick Quotes

"I keep finding myself commenting on how wonderful a job Joel McNeely does in re-recording these Herrmann scores, and this album is no exception. The sound quality is expansive and deep, and with a running time of almost 50-minutes, this is a triumphant Herrmann score that should be added to your collection. But then, what Herrmann score shouldn't?" ****

Dan Goldwasser's revew of The 3 Worlds of Gulliver at Soundtrack.net

 

 

Composed by Bernard Herrmann
Conducted by Joel McNeely
Performed by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra
Produced by Robert Townson
Released by Varese Sarabande Records March 2001

Traveling Music
Review by Christopher Coleman

Composer Bernard Hermann had just completed his memorable work for Hitchcock's thriller Psycho.  A mere four days later, he found himself composing a score which could be the very antithesis of his recently completed project.  The 3 Worlds of Gulliver would give Hermann an opportunity to delve into musical realms that he was naturally passionate about, but received few opportunities to indulge professionally.  Amazingly, in only two weeks, Hermann completed this wonderous next score!  Listening to this brilliant work, one would surmise that Herrmann had worked on it for two years.  The man's passion for 18th Century Classical music comes pouring forth with no restraint.  Anyone who hears this re-recording from by Joel McNeely and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra will be thankful for what took place in that two week period some 40 years ago.

Following the familiar, but clever, story of the travels of 18th Century, English, inhabitant, Gulliver, Herrmann's score is drips with 18th Century style and flare.  Hermann's score is full of cheerful character delivering its own brand of musical magic.  McNeely and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra do justice to every note.  Whether it is the rousing, clearly royal, Overture (1), the delicate Minuetto (2), the dramatic The Ship and The Storm (6, 7), or the magical theme for the Lilliputians, as Hermann "nailed it" in 1960, so does McNeely and company in 2001.

One of the great strengths of this score is that the music is so varied from track to track.  Despite a very short average track length (somewhere around 1:30 minutes), the music flows effortlessly from one track to the next and before one knows it, the soundtrack has concluded.  This is not to suggest that this is a heartbreaking 30 minute release.  No.  It is almost 50 minutes.  It only seems like 30.

There are few moments when the mood actually becomes dark in the first half of the CD, such as in track 7, The Storm.  Later; however, as Gulliver ends up in the land of the Brobdingnab, the tone takes and remains in a darker tone: The Beach (23) through to the midway point of track 25, Reunion.  The music returns to the dramatic and sinister in track 30, The Squirrel and continues through to track 35, Pursuit.  Here the music reaches its powerful, low point, with pounding, menacing, resonance that will make the heartiest Goldsmith fan's ears perk up.  Despite composing a majority of music that is uplifting, Hermann reminds the listener, and maybe himself, of the dark intensity he is capable of. 

One of the greatest blessings of such modern performances of true classics is that record labels tend to invest more in the liner notes.  For The 3 Worlds of Gulliver, Varese Sarabande provides a nice six-page booklet, notes written by Christopher Husted.  The insert's comments feature a bit of detail regarding the period of time in which Hermann wrote this score and on the composer's natural affinity for the 18th Century.  The only regret I have with the notes is that there is no detail on the production of this particular release.  Producer Robert Townson's, composer Joel McNeely's, and the rest's admirable efforts deserve to be detailed almost as much as Hermann's.

Hermann's two-week project, as re-recorded and made available some 40 years later, delivers all the heart and passion that one could ask for -  and does so with dignity and character.  The pristine and passionate performance of The Royal Scottish National Orchestra as conducted by Joel McNeely for this release, somehow even outshines the stellar work for Peyton Place. Every track is a treat and so this Varese Sarabande project earns the rare mark of 10/10.  Fans of 18th Century styled film music such as Thomas Newman's Little Women or some of Patrick Doyle's works, should make this CD their guilty pleasure for the next month or two.  

 


Track Listing and Ratings

 Track Title Time

Rating

1 Overture 1:56  *****
2 Minuetto 1:39  *****
3 The Lovers 0_48  *****
4 Trio Refrain 0:26  ****
5 The Old House 0:55  ****
6 The Ship 0:48  *****
7 The Storm 0:45  *****
8 The Lilliputians 1:38  *****
9 The Duel 1:17  *****
10 The King's March 1:05  *****
11 The Clouds 0:37  ****
12 The Trees 1:36  ****
13 A Hatful of Fish 1:10  ****
14 The Oath 0:57  ****
15 The Castle 0:47  ****
16 The Tightrope 2:40  ****
17 The Prison 1:02  ****
18 The Fight 0:44  ****
19 War March 1:05  ****
20 Naval Battle 1:29  ****
21 The Fire 1:38  ****
22 Escape 0:44  *****
23 The Beach 1:15  ****
24 The Shadow 1:53  *****
25 Reunion 1:27  *****
26 Duo 2:21  *****
27 The Wedding 0:19  ****
28 Nocturne 1:18  ****
29 The Woodland 1:13  *****
30 The Squirrel 1:48  ****
31 The Chess Game 1:59  ****
32 Alchemy 1:29  ****
33 The Girls 0:43  *****
34 The Crocodile 1:53  *****
35 Pursuit 4:49  *****
36 Happiness 0:41  *****
36 Finale 0:51  *****
 

Total Running Time

61:10  
 

 

 

 

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